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Chakan Fort FortHeight : 0
Type : Land Forts Fort Range : None
District : Pune Grade : Easy
      Chakan fort (Sangramgad) on Pune-Nasik highway is well known in Maratha history for the heroics of Maratha General, Firangoji Narsala. He, for 55 long days, repelled strong Mughal attacks on the fort.

In ancient times, Chakan was a famous trading centre and Sangramgad was built to protect it from various invaders. Keeping an eye on Maval province of Ghotan, Paud and Ner province of Ghodner, Bhimner was possible from this fort. Although, possessing an illustrious historical significance, the condition of this fort is pitiable these days.
History :
      A witness for many historical events, this ancient fort was under the reign of Allah-ud-din Khilji after the fall of Yadava clan of Devgiri. Allah-ud-din Shah Bahmani decided to capture Sahyadri’s trade routes and konkan region. This task was handed out to his commander in chief, Malik Uttujar. He stayed at Chakan (1447) during this quest. While advancing towards Vishalgad, the army of Malik Uttujar was misled into a dense forest by Shirke and More. They attacked the unaware enemy, surprising and murdering Malik Uttujar along with 2500 of his soldiers at that strategic location.
(The detail article about this earliest of guerrilla battles is very interesting)

Dispute between the Muslims of south and the Islamic mercenaries (Muslims from foreign regions) resulted in the Muslims of south returning back to Chakan, hence, abandoning the conquest. The news of this event was given to Bhamani General, Mujaid Shah. The Sayyad clan and other mercenaries were held responsible for the massacre. They took refuge in Chakan fort with the help of Konkan region’s ruler.

Drunk and enraged Mujaid Shah ordered to attack the Chakan fort and to slay all the mercenaries. Following Shah’s orders, the Muslims of south led by Rustum and Sahlar Aamir surrounded the fort ready to attack. The mercenaries had plenty of supply stock and did not respond to any threats. Finally, the Muslims of south drew the mercenaries out faking that Shah has forgiven them. They invited mercenaries to come and enjoy a feast together. Sayyads and mercenaries accepted the invitation. But, they were slaughtered by the Muslims during the very feast.

Aamir Shah, the baron of Daulatabad, ceded the region of Chakan, 84 counties, to Kheloji and Maloji (the father of the great grandfather of Shivaji Maharaj). Later, the Chakan region was under the control of Shahaji Maharaj. Shivaji Maharaj took over the fort defeating Adil Shah when Firangoji Narsala was the Commander of the fort. Firangoji expressed loyalty towards Shivaji Maharaj for which he prolonged his status as the Commander of the Chakan fort.

On 21st June 1660, Shaista Khan (Mirza Abu Talib) surrounded the fort with a strong army of 20 thousand men. Inside the fort 600 to 700 Maratha warriors, having sufficient supply of food and ammunition, kept on defending the fort courageously. They used cannons, pistols and raided the Mughals during nights (guerrilla warfare technique). Many days passed without any result. Then, Shaista Khan ordered to construct an underground tunnel going up to the Bastion on North-East side of the fortification.

The 55th day, 14 August 1660, that tunnel packed with explosives was lit. The blast created a huge gaping in the wall. Almost 75 Marathas guarding the bastion were killed and the Mughals attempted a break-in. But Marathas fought back and did not allow this. On 15th August 1660, Mughals launched a severe assault. Holding to citadel, Marathas fought with vigor but due to draining energy and resources, they couldn’t withstand the attack. Firangoji Narsala decided to counter-attack but was captured. The fort subsequently was surrendered to the Mughals.
Fascinating Spots :
      The fort at this moment of time is virtually non-existent. The stones from the fortification and palace buildings were used to construct homes by the people. The area of the fort is a barren land and any sign of remnants can hardly be seen.

Chakreshwar temple dedicated to ‘Lord Shiva’ can be seen nearby. Ancient stone carvings of ‘Varah Avatar’ (Incarnation of Lord Vishnu) can be seen here. The temple site is also well known for its significance in the beginnings of the epic Ramayana.
Ways To Reach :
      From Mumbai: Mumbai – Talegaon – Chakan (distance 138 kms)
From Pune: Pune – Chakan (distance 32 kms)
Accommodation Facility :
      Chakan is a fairly developed market place and one can easily find a place to stay.
Food Facility :
      There are plenty of hotels and stores available.
Drinking Water Facility :
      Easily available in shops.
Time To Reach :
      Half hour from Talegaon & an hour from Pune.